Three Bridges take final Quarter-Final spot
In the feature game for Round 3 of our Sussex Senior Challenge Cup, Isthmian South East side, Three Bridges, proved too much for Southern Combination Premier’s Little Common.
It was a big night for Little Common who returned to their home, The Recreation Ground, for the first time in 4 and a half years. The Green Lane Boys have been ground-sharing with Eastbourne United whilst their usual home made the league requirements.
Three Bridges were there to spoil the party, however, and did so with first half goals from Noel Leighton and Dan Perry which was topped off with a second half penalty converted by Brannon O’Neill.
That said, it was a score line that Little Common will feel aggrieved by having put on a decent display against a higher opposition.
Little Common started off well playing some tidy football and had two early chances. Firstly, Liam Ward struck the ball from distance with it rising just over the bar. This was followed by James Miriam-Batchelor striking the post from close-range.
The quick start from Little Common must have done something to wake Three Bridges up who went straight up the other end and smashed one off the post themselves with O’Neill coming agonisingly close from outside the box.
It was a chance that gave Three Bridges the confidence they needed and found the lead two minutes later when, after an advantage played by referee, Dan Jeffery, Leighton was played through and made no mistake with a tidy finish past Matt Cruttwell.
Three Bridges gained a lot of confidence from the goal and wasted no time in doubling their lead. Leighton broke down the right and crossed in a ball that even Kevin De Bruyne would be proud of, with Dan Perry striking it in beautifully in off the bar.
Little Common were determined not to be out of the tie just yet and fired back forcing two good saves out of Mitch Bromage a few minutes apart.
Curtis Gayler then came incredibly close to putting Three Bridges out of sight, striking inches wide of the post inside the box.
Little Common came out in the second-half with more intensity and looked to find an avenue back in the game. Just a few minutes in they forced a couple of corners which resulted in a powerful volley from Russell Eldridge hitting the side netting.
That was followed by a header from the centre of the box from Miriam-Batchelor which lashed across goal, and went just wide of the fast post.
Little Common’s efforts were, in the end, in vein, when they were punished for a handball, awarding the visitors with a penalty. O’Neill slotted the penalty coolly past Cruttwell who dived the wrong way putting Three Bridges out of sight.
The remainder of the half proved to be fairly uneventful. Sam Ellis for the home side, however, came close to a spectacular goal with his long-range effort curling just wide of the far top corner.
In the end, Three Bridges had enough to see out the result, proving to have too much firepower for the home side. Three Bridges will now travel away to Horsham YMCA in the Quarter-Final.
(Full album of photographs are available via (Simon Roe Photography)
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